Mar 31, 2017

Should you correct someone living with dementia?

Let me ask you how you would feel if I constantly corrected you? Would you feel ashamed or embarrassed?

Alzheimer's care, Dementia care, should you correct someone living with dementia?
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's caregivers often have a problem accepting that a person living with dementia does not remember.

How to talk and communicate with dementia patients

We know they can't remember, yet in spite of this, we often become frustrated and sometimes angry when they repeat themselves.

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Why would we be angry if we know this is going to happen? It is bound to happen over and over. It comes with the caregiver territory.

The bigger issue for many caregivers is the need to correct someone living with dementia.

Let me ask you how you would feel if I constantly corrected you? Would you eventually feel ashamed or embarrassed?

Have you ever heard the term self concept? Self concept refers to how you perceive yourself; and as a natural extension, how others perceive you. Self concept includes self esteem,

Ever met someone with a negative self concept? They tend to be very negative, and to say very negative things. Are they fun to be around?

If you constantly correct, or berate someone with dementia what is going to happen? It is likely that they will become very negative. They might become hard to deal with or worse. One thing is certain, you will add to their confusion. And, you will harm their concept of self. Self esteem.

Alzheimer's Care - No More Blah Blah Blah

Let me ask you this. Would you like someone who constantly corrected you? Or, would you dislike them? Which is more likely?

How would you like to be treated if you were living with memory loss? Ask yourself, How would you like to be treated if you were living with memory loss?

I am now going to suggest that you read (or reread) this article

I wrote that article many years ago after my own epiphany that something had to change and that

That Something Was Me.

Quite frankly, the rules we live by in the real world just don't apply in

And why should they? Should we judge people who can't remember what just happened very well by the same rules that apply to us - the Alzheimer's caregiver?

Or instead, should we willing adjust our own communication to allow for the confusion and discombobulation that often accompanies dementia?

Remember these words: kindness, respect, vulnerability, human being, reassurance.

Instead of correcting the person living with dementia, try and remember they are living with memory loss.

Be a guide.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). The Alzheimer's Reading Room operates for the benefit of society.

Original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Arguing with a person living with dementia only makes things worse | Alzheimer's Reading Room